Papua New Guinea: Volcanoes Eruptions Information bulletin


This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has yet to determined that external assistance requirement.

The situation

Ulawun Volcano eruption On 26 June 2019 at approximately 04:00 hours local time, the Ulawun volcano, about 130 km (81 miles) southwest of the township of Rabaul, East New Britain, has been observed continuously emitting ash plumes.

Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC) has increased the aviation colour code to RED at 06:33 hours local time on 26 June 2019. On 27 June 2019, the Darwin VACC stated that current satellite imagery indicated that the ash from the volcano had dissipated and there were no ongoing or new eruptions.

People living in the surrounding area of Ulawun Volcano were reported to have voluntarily evacuated the surrounding area on Wednesday, 26 June 2019. No damage or casualties have been reported. Approximately 10,620 people have sheltered at least ten care centre sites, according to local-level government authorities in Bialla, West New Britain as reported in UN Flash Update No.2. Another 427 people are in a single care centre in East New Britain. As of date, no casualties have been reported.

Due to the possible ashfall which has been observed across Kimbe township, the authorities in West New Britain have declared a provincial state of emergency and have activated their emergency response plan for Mount Ulawun, including the establishment of a forward base in Bialla. All communities within a 20 kilometres radius of the volcano were instructed to relocate to designated safe zones.

Manam Volcano eruptions

Based on the report from Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, on 28 June 2019 from around 07:00 hours (Papua New Guinean time), a volcanic activity was reported on a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano1 , Manam Volcano (locally known as Manam Motu), in, Madang province, on the northeast coast of the mainland Papua New Guinea.

On 29 June 2019, as at 07:45 hours, local time, the volcano continues to erupt and emitting volcanic ash up to 4,572 meters (15,000 feets) and dispersing superheated pyroclastic flows to the west and northeast slopes of the volcano. Manam Volcano is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano On 28 June 2019, Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin warned about a volcanic activity and ash plume that rose up to estimated 50,000 ft (15,200 meters) altitude or flight level 500. The status at this point was 4 out of 5. According to PNG Disaster Management Team (DMT) Secretariat Update No. 1, approximately 755 households (3,775 people) have moved to three care centres. The largest is Baliau with 447 households (2,235 people), followed by Kuluguma with 182 households (910 people), while 76 households (380 people) are staying in Boda and 50 households (250 people) are staying in Iassa. Madang disaster authorities identified immediate needs for food and water. The PNG National Disaster Centre is coordinating with provincial authorities to deliver prepositioned relief supplies to Bogia and Manam island.